The best food and cookware stores in Paris
We’ve found ourselves back in Paris. We hadn’t planned this. We started our 42 day motorhome journey by arriving in Paris 37 days ago. Seems like forever ago. What we had planned for was to be back in Paris for the final two days of our trip, after we had handed back the vehicle.
This is the world of motorhoming. This wonderful way of travelling allows us to be mega flexible. Without any specific plans other than a start and finish date, we are free to roam across Europe, stopping on a whim and staying for as long as we choose.
Today, we find ourselves with a few extra days up our sleeve. We aren’t due to return the motorhome for another six days. And, being back in the west of France, we aren’t really more than a few hours away from our final destination, so six days is ample and leaves us looking for somewhere fabulous to visit.
Fabulous we say. Well you can’t get much more fabulous than Paris. But we’re in a massive 3.5 tonne motorhome. Are we completely mad thinking we can take this beast to Paris? Many, I imagine, would think so.
But, we’ve done this before. Paris. Hmmphh! Your ultra chic ways and fancy cars don’t frighten us one bit. Many, many years ago, in our very first camping car experience, we found ourselves (not by design) navigating a right hand drive Kombi right through the heart of Paris at peak hour ! If we can survive that, then anything else is a walk in the park.
But, more about our amazing spot later. It’s time to talk about food.
Food and cookware stores in Paris
I love French food and I love cooking French food. Today we’ve decided to visit some of the most well known food and cookware stores in the city.
France to many, is of course the fashion capital of the world. For them, any trip to France would not be complete without some serious pounding of the pavement along the Champs-Élysées and other shopping districts.
For me, when I come here, it’s not uncommon to see my face squished on the glass of a patisserie store (probably to the absolute disgust of those who have to clean the window), wishing that I come back as a French pastry chef in another life.
It’s also about buying as much as I can from French cooking stores to bring back home.
This store is one of the oldest food stores in Paris. It is located in what I like to call the “Golden Triangle” of food stores in the 2nd arrondissement.
When I was here the previous year, I think I bought a suitcase full of supplies from this store alone, so I could almost see the look of trepidation on my husband’s face as we crossed the threshold.
This store is quite small. The lack of physical floor space has not been an impediment at all, with shelves built all the way up the walls to the ceiling. Pastes, jams, chocolate, icing, flavourings, tinned meats, candied fruits and so, so much more cling for life on these shelves, and on each other, such is the way in which they are jammed in.
It looks like a game of Tetrus, and I for one am not game to touch them for fear that one jiggle will send them all crashing down.
Instead I look, read, decipher, and when I am ready to select something, take the easy option and get my husband to grab it for me. As he does so, I carefully position myself near the door. In the event that it is he who sends them all tumbling, I can make a speedy exit. Just kidding!
This shop is old school. When you are ready to purchase something, you see one of the men who are usually standing behind the counter near the front door. They take your products and price them, returning to you a paper slip with the total price. With this slip in hand, you must then go to the cashier, who sits behind the glass at the back of the store and pay. Once you have paid, the men at the front will give you back your goodies.
Can you see the cashier hiding behind the glass in the photo below. He’s been almost covered up by the food !!
Last year we bought some Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans. A bottle with 50 beans in it for €9 We couldn’t believe our eyes. We pay $7-9 AUD for TWO beans. This year we went back in search of the vanilla beans but alas, it seems like the bargain of the century has caught on and they were close to €30 this time. 🙁
I still managed to find myself a great selection of fondant. The special kind that goes on the top of Millefeuille. I learnt from my cooking class at La Cuisine Paris last year that even the French pastry chefs buy it like this. It’s much easier than making it from scratch. And, for €4 for 1 kg, it’s a bargain. I also buy more praline for making mousselline. I just can’t buy this sort of thing back home.
I actually leave with much less than I had bargained for, which is definitely a good thing, considering I have more stores to visit.
Next door to the main store is an even smaller store that sells more food of the fresh variety like charcuterie, cheese and confit de canard.
G. Detou can be found at 58, rue Tiquetonne in the 2nd arrondissement
La Bovida is the place I come to swoon over the pots and pans. I know, it will sound weird to some, but it’s like I said earlier. Some will come to Paris to ooh and aah over the latest trend or to buy the latest pair of jeans. I love coming to Paris and oohing and aahing over the French cookware.
In La Bovida, pots and pans are even used as part of ceiling art, with them hanging off a gigantic wrought iron structure.
It is also here that I see amazing displays of those famously French copper pots. You know, the ones that you see on tv that are brought to your table with steaming hot, chocolate souffles billowing out of them. Ok, so maybe I pay just a bit too much attention to these details.
La Bovida is located at 36 rue Montmartre in the 1st arrondissement.
I could buy Mora and Mora in this store (pun intended !). This store is the place to come for so many pastry chefs. It has one of the largest ranges of silicon cake and chocolate moulds in Paris. Every time I come here I sit for ages gazing at the moulds, wondering if I really need another crazy shape. They are just amazing and nothing like this exists back home.
Mora is also a cake decorators heaven with an entire (almost secret) room dedicated to icing, fondants, decorations and papers. It’s amazing.
And just when I thought there isn’t possibly another utensil or appliance that I don’t have, along comes a digital spatula. Now who wouldn’t think this was something useful to have?
Mora can be found at 13, rue de Montmarte in the 1st arrondissement.
Another food store that doesn’t need a fancy name. Just A.Simon. A name that is synonymous with cooking and catering equipment for restaurants.
A.Simon can be found at 48 + 52 rue Montmartre, also in the 1st arrondissement.
Could there possibly be any more?
So there you have it. My wrap up of some of my favourite food and cooking stores in Paris. This is by no means an exclusive list. There are others like E Dehillerin and major department stores like Galleries Lafayette and BHV have incredible cookware ranges and food halls.
Time for me to go and package up all the goodies I bought so I can pack them in my suitcase.
Have you been to any other great food stores? I’m always happy to pick up new tips.